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And to the fosses came all that the land
“Ah! when thou to the world shalt be return'd,
ARGUMENT.—Many besides, who are in like case with those spoken of in the last Canto, beseech our Poet to obtain for them the prayers of their friends, when he shall be returned to this world. This moves him to express a doubt to his guide, how the dead can be profited by the prayers of the living; for the solution of which doubt he is referred to Beatrice. Afterward he meets with Sordello the Mantuan, whose affection, shown to Virgil his countryman, leads Dante to break forth into an invective against the unnatural divisions with which Italy, and more especially Florence, was distracted.
CHEN from their game of dice men separate,
He who hath lost remains in sadness fix'd,
Revolving in his mind what luckless throws He cast: but, meanwhile, all the company Go with the other; one before him runs, And one behind his mantle twitches, one Fast by his side bids him remember him. He stops not; and each one, to whom his hand Is stretch'd, well knows he bids him stand aside;
14 “ Pia.” She is said to have been a Siennese lady, of the family of Tolommei, secretly made away
with by her husband, Nello della Pietra, of the same city, in Maremma, where he had some possessions.
And thus' he from the press defends himself.
Here of Arezzo him” I saw, who fell
1“ And thus.” It was usual for money to be given to bystanders at play by winners.
Benincasa of Arezzo, eminent for his skill in jurisprudence, who having condemned to death Turrino da Turrita, brother of Ghino di Tacco, for his robberies in Maremma, was murdered by Ghino, in an apartment of his own house, in the presence of many witnesses. Ghino was not only suffered to escape in safety, but obtained so high a reputation by the liberality with which he dispensed the fruits of his plunder, and treated those who fell into his hands with so much courtesy, that he was afterward invited to Rome, and knighted by Boniface VIII.
s Cione, or Ciacco de' Tarlatti of Arezzo, carried by his horse into the Arno, and there drowned, while in pursuit of enemies.
4"Frederic Novello." Son of the Conte Guido da Battifolle, and slain by one of the family of Bostoli.
5 Farinata de' Scornigiani, of Pisa. His father, Marzucco, who had en
tered the order of the Frati Minori, so entirely overcame his resentment, that he even kissed the hands of the slayer of his son, and as he was following the funeral, exhorted his kinsmen to reconciliation.
B“ Count Orso." Son of Napo. leone da Cerbaia, slain by Alberto da Mangona, his uncle.
? Secretary of Philip III of France. The courtiers envying the high place which he held in the King's favor, prevailed on Mary of Brabant to charge him falsely with an attempt upon her person; for which supposed crime he suffered death. So say the Italian commentators. Henault represents the matter very differently: “ Pierre de la Brosse, formerly barber to St. Louis, afterward the favorite of Philip, fearing the too great attachment of the King for his wife Mary, accuses this princess of having poisoned Louis, eldest son of Philip, by his first marriage. This calumny is discovered by a nun of Nivelle, in Flanders. La Brosse is hanged."
To supplication; yet with this design
He thus to me: “Both what I write is plain,
Then I: “Sir! let us mend our speed; for now I tire not as before: and lo! the hill 8 Stretches its shadow far.” He answer'd thus: “Our progress with this day shall be as much As we may now despatch; but otherwise Than thou supposest is the truth. For there Thou canst not be, ere thou once more behold Him back returning, who behind the steep Is now so hidden, that, as erst, his beam Thou dost not break. But lo! a spirit there Stands solitary, and toward us looks: It will instruct us in the speediest way."
We soon approach'd it. O thou Lombard spirit! How didst thou stand, in high abstracted mood, Scarce moving with slow dignity thine eyes. It spoke not aught, but let us onward pass, Eying us as a lion on his watch. But Virgil, with entreaty mild, advanced, Requesting it to show the best ascent. It answer to his question none return'd; But of our country and our kind of life
8" The hill.” It was now past the moon.
Malicio abide noches while" citizen
Demanded. When my courteous guide began,
Ah, slavish Italy! thou inn of grief!
Look how that beast to felness hath relapsed,
For that thy sire" and thou have suffer'd thus, • Sordello's life is wrapt in obscur Adolphus in 1298, and was mur: ity. He distinguished himself by his dered in 1308. See “ Paradise,” skill in Provencal poetry and Canto xix. 114. many feats of military prowess have u Henry of Luxemburg, by whose
interposition in the affairs of Italy able that he was born at the end our Poet hoped to have been rein. of the twelfth, and died about the stated in his native cits
12 The Emperor Rodolph, too in10 The Emperor Albert I succeeded tent on increasing his power in Ger.
been attributed to him.
It is prob
middle of the succeeding, century.
Through greediness of yonder realms detain'd,
many to give much of his thoughts 14 Two rival families in Orvieto. to Italy, “the garden of the empire.” *A place between Pisa and Siena. .*Two powerful Ghibelline fami
lies of Verona.